A Los Angeles model is tackling the lack of diversity in the fashion industry in a very creative way. In efforts to bring awareness towards the absence of Black models in major ad campaigns, Deddeh Howard has stepped in front of the camera to recreate them.
Howard conceptualized a photo series titled Black Mirror which features images of her recreating some of the most iconic high fashion ads from brands that include Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana. The 27-year-old Nigerian-born model and fashion blogger says she wanted the project to serve as “a call for more diversity.” “I thought it was perfect because we are mirroring two images. When you [black women] look in the mirror you question: ‘This could be me, why is this not me?,” she told BuzzFeed. “There are many beautiful black models and they are not represented the way they should be.” Her personal experiences with discrimination in the modeling industry prompted her to create Black Mirror. She says she was often told by agencies that they couldn’t hire her because they already had a Black model, which ended up taking an emotional toll on Howard.
Howard says her and her boyfriend photographer Raffael Dickreuter, who took the photos, paid very close attention to detail in efforts to precisely match the real campaign images. She recreated ads that originally included models like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. Howard is humbled by all of the attention that she has received for her project. “I’m very grateful people feel the same that I do, people are telling me that I’m an inspiration to them and it feels unreal,” she says. “We should keep fighting for what we believe in.”